You could say DJ Chocolate was born to work in the entertainment industry. She is a radio veteran, mix DJ, actress, graphic designer and artist.
A former championship winning basketball player, DJ Chocolate started her career in radio right out of college with a degree in Communications and Art. DJ Chocolate has worked in Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Birmingham and Meridian as an on air personality, traffic reporter and production manager. Currently she is the Promotions and Marketing Director for a radio cluster in the Southeast United States.
DJ Chocolate has performed throughout the United States and oversees in Canada, Mexico and the Dominican Republic including a year in South Korea where she also taught English. She is a seasoned radio DJ with mix shows in markets across the Southeast and growing. DJ Chocolate is managed by BulLion Entertainment of New York.
As an actress she is a fan of the theatre and has held consistent roles in several theatrical productions and independent films. Her acting career is managed by Gill Talent Group which has offices in Atlanta, Chicago and New York.
Like most DJs and radio personalities that came up through the defining years of HipHop, DJ Chocolate has a strong connection to good music in particular music from the 70s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s. DJ Chocolate’s Throwback Mix has become a favorite for many listeners in the markets she serves and continues to grow interest throughout the United States and abroad.
Find out why everybody loves Chocolate in this exclusive interview for Right On! Digital.
BY CYNTHIA HORNER
Q. Where did you get the idea to use the name DJ Chocolate and what are some of the comments you’ve received about the moniker?
A. The name came about during a conversation with a friend. He was helping learn more about the business and we sort of stumbled up on the name and it actually felt good. I’m a chocolate girl, so when I tell people they typically say, “That’s a good name for you!”
Q. You are on several stations in different parts of the country. How does that work and how do you keep your schedule straight?
A. Right now, I can be heard in several markets. Monday through Friday, I can be heard on YO 100.5 in Montgomery, Alabama at 5pm and 10pm. Wednesdays from Noon to 1:00pm on WKZJ/K92.7 in Columbus, GA; WZBR/98.1 The Urban Heat in Boston, MA and from 5:00pm – 6:00pm. I call those Wednesday mixes “DJ Chocolate’s Hump Day Mix” and I do my best to serve up music that will help the listeners push through the rest of the week. The schedule is pretty straight forward since the mixes are all typically throwback. I am also the Promotions Director of the five-station cluster of Cumulus-Huntsville (WWFF 93.3/FM, WUMP 730AM/103.9FM, WZYP 104.3FM, WHRP 94.1FM, WVNN 770AM/92.5FM).
Q. You are an actress as well. Talk about the productions that you have appeared in and whether or not you plan to do more with the acting profession.
A. What most people don’t know about me is that before DJ Chocolate I was actually a working actress. I toured with a small traveling theatre throughout the US. So, you can say I am getting back on the bicycle so to speak. I got back into it working with a local summer camp about three years ago as a mentor for young people with the On the Set Summer Film Camp. Each year I got to play a more significant role and found myself working with actor Lamman Rucker in a few of the scenes. From there, I connected with the Encore Theatre, a local theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. This is where I picked my confidence back up and was cast in the award winning choreopeom by Ntzoke Shange “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf” playing Lady in Blue. That led to a significant supporting role in an original stage play titled “The Best Man,” where I played the Maid of Honor and love interest of another supporting character “The Best Man” played by RnB singer Ray Lavender. Currently, I am cast to play Wilona in “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963,” a play written by Reginald Andre Jackson adapted from the novel written by Christopher Paul Curtis. Most recently, I played the role of Melanie in the original stage play written by Marc Raby called “Barely Strangers.” So, it’s safe to say that acting will more than likely be the next phase of my life after I put the turntables away. I am really looking forward to it.
Q. You play a lot of adult contemporary music. Who are some of your favorite artists and what is it that you like about some of them?
A. Michael Jackson, Prince and Janet Jackson will always be at the top of my list, however, I have an affinity for neo-soul music and artists like Erykah Badu, The Roots, Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway and Jill Scott. I can’t leave out Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, The SOS Band and the Gap Band. So, for me it’s all about music with substance, melodic vibes and soul. I have been dubbed the “Queen of the Throwback Mix” by some, so it’s also easy to tell that Rap music from 80s to the beginnings of Hip Hop have a huge influence on the music I love to listen to and play.
Q. How easy or difficult is it to get into radio and what advice would you have for people who are looking to get into the field?
A. Radio has changed so much since I started. With the introduction of non-traditional radio like satellite and podcasting, it could seem easy, but I suggest one should go back to the fundamentals and learn about the business. Intern and learn as much as you can including everything behind the scenes and not just being on the air. This path will give you some longevity as more options become available to listeners. You will know the fundamentals of the business and how to maintain a lasting career.
Q. What is your educational background?
A. I have a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Art and I am certified to teach English as a second language.
Q. You are a member of a sorority and you are involved in a business called Grown and Greek®. Can you talk a little bit about the projects and what inspired you to get to the Greek community?
Q. I am an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and as a traveling DJ I started to realize how great it was to be in any city or any country and find people that are members of Black Greek Letter Organizations known as the Divine Nine. I looked at the audience that regularly attended the events I performed, and they were “grown” – meaning 30 and older … LOL. So, the concept of creating a brand that catered to those that are Grown and Greek® was born. With this company we started hosting events that focused on alumni members of the Divine Nine. That has led to a series of other opportunities like the Grown and Greek Weekend, which has been hosted in Birmingham, Alabama for the past two years. During the Grown and Greek® Weekend alumni members attend a series of signature events such as our Community Forward Luncheon, which was presented by BBVA and covered a range of topics such as Opportunity Zones, Mental Health, Reentry programs for ex-felons, Community Redevelopment and more. We were honored to have a room full of dignitaries, pastors, business owners, educators, professionals and elected officials in the audience and many of them are also members of Black Greek Letter Organizations. I am proud to say we will be announcing other cities in 2020 along with some great products.
GET SOCIAL WITH DJ CHOCOLATE!
Instagram @djchocolatedotcom https://www.instagram.com/djchocolatedotcom/
Grown and Greek
Instagram @grownandgreektv https://www.instagram.com/grownandgreektv/
Private Facebook Page for Divine 9 Alumni Greeks Only